Tag Archives: san diego cactus & succulent society

SNIPPETS (7-8-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Which one should I buy? $24.50 each, so price is not the determining factor.

Mammillaria species

SNIPPET 2

I’m currently cataloging Russel Ray Photos pictures from October 2017. Here are some pictures from the annual Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show here in San Diego in October 2017. The annual air show is said to be the largest air show in the United States.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

SNIPPET 3

I have spent time in Death Valley National Park in California where the temperature hit 123°F. I have spent time in Palm Springs, California, where the temperature hit 116°F. On July 6, the temperature on my shaded catio reached 112°F, making this the hottest place I have ever lived.

112°F

SNIPPET 4

Here is Zoey the Cool Cat enjoying that 112°F on her catio.

Zoey the Cool Cat enjoying her catio

She is looking at the thermometer after I had taken a picture. Perhaps she’s thinking, “That can’t be right.”

SNIPPET 5

Laughter for your Sunday.

When you do the magic trick for dogs

When you do the magic trick for a cockatoo

SNIPPET 6

Sigh….

Don't leave your kids in the car!

SNIPPET 7

I got addicted to cats back in 2006 when a feral black cat came to visit on Thanksgiving. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and left. It returned on Christmas Eve. Hmmmmm. “A cat that knows human holidays,” I thought. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and stayed. Sadly, it got run over by a car on September 20, 2007. We got Zoey the Cool Cat on September 21, 2007.

On July 6, around 8:00 a.m., a feral cat came to visit me while I was working in my cacti & succulents gardens. It was very friendly, but no collar and extraordinarily skinny. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and left. I had Euphorbia sap on my hands at the time, and since I’m quite allergic to that sap, I went inside to wash my hands. By the time I came back out, skinny kitty was gone. I do hope it comes back.

I did get a picture of skinny kitty.

Skinny Kitty

SNIPPET 8

I thought it was “bombs bursting in air,” not “bombs bursting on ground.”

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

SNIPPET 9

I watched Blade Runner (The Final Cut) the other day. I didn’t like the original Blade Runner back in 1982 when I saw it. I did like it much better this time around, maybe because of those final cuts, but I don’t remember the original that well so I don’t really know. Margaritas were good, though. When was the last time you went to a movie theater that served margaritas?

SNIPPET 10

Out here in the East San Diego County boondocks we don’t have many spiders. I suspect that’s because the billions of lizards eat them. So imagine my excitement when I found a rather large spider while out in my gardens the other day.

Garden spider

SNIPPET 11

I’m not a big fan of posting pictures of surgery scars, blood, etc., online, so I’ll just tell you that this Euphorbia enolpa got me good the other day while I was planting it. And I mean good.

Euphorbia enolpa

I’m quite sensitive to Euphorbia sap, which I discovered back in 1966 when my wise old grandmother made me prune her poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima), so in addition to having a very bloody arm, I had a very swollen arm.

Euphorbia sap often sends people to the hospital and has been responsible for a few deaths as well. If you get this white, milky sap on you, wash it off immediately, and certainly don’t touch your eyes, mouth, ears, or nose while you have sap on your hands.

Euphorbia sap also can be very toxic to your dogs and cats.

SNIPPET 12

Something’s quite wrong if your event results in so many lost children that you have to set up a LOST & FOUND CHILDREN center. Either that or there are some seriously delinquent people called “parents” running around.

Lost and found children

SNIPPET 13

I’m also very sensitive to gas, but you and I can’t smell gas when it’s in the parts per billion. Also, if your gas company hasn’t added odor to the gas, you won’t be able to smell it anyway.

If the gas is strong enough, I still might not smell it per sé but I start coughing, wheezing, snorting, hacking, eyes watering. If that happens unexpectedly, I look around for a gas source. Such happened to me a few years ago while sitting outside the LiveScan office waiting my turn to get LiveScanned so I could teach chess in after-school enrichment programs. The LiveScan clerk came to check on me, I sounded that bad. I told her my suspicion since there was a huge gas tank nearby. Here’s the letter I got from them a few days later:

LivesSan letter

SNIPPET 14

Selfies

SNIPPET 15

I’m sure they specialize in death with dignity.

Death Dealers

SNIPPET 16

Our home with Zoey the Cool Cat is surrounded by three cities, two of them on the smaller suburban size. Both had fireworks on July 4. I couldn’t see them but Zoey the Cool Cat and I certainly heard them. She was not happy. I went to the bedroom and laid down on the bed with her to comfort her, talking to her in a soft, soothing voice and rubbing my hands and head all over her. She was happier but every occasionally there was one of those really loud things and that kept shaking things up for us.

There is such a thing as silent fireworks, and I became a big proponent of them this year.

SNIPPET 17

This was the first year in several decades that I didn’t go somewhere to watch the fireworks on July 4. With Twitler and his ilk destroying everything about the United States—National Parks, EPA, health insurance, families, public education—and the constant lies, I just am not very patriotic right now.

SNIPPET 18

The Bam Boo Inn somewhere in the East San Diego County boondocks.

The Bam Boo Inn

SNIPPET 19

Here’s my latest newsletter creation for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society. Lots of links inside to good Facebook groups and YouTube videos that I have created this past month.

July 2018 newsletter for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society

SNIPPET 20

As many times as I have been to The Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens, I had never been to the Desert Garden. It was always so difficult for me to get through the library and art galleries since they are closest to the entrance. On June 29, Jim and I went to The Huntington with my sole goal being to stroll through the Desert Garden. Here’s my video of the stroll:

If you have never been to The Huntington in San Marino, California (east Los Angeles County), put it on your Bucket List. You won’t be disappointed.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

SNIPPETS (6-10-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

A+R POTTERY Designer Pot #00111Sorry I missed last Sunday but I was heavily involved in the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Summer Show & Sale all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I was a vendor with A+R POTTERY and got many comments. I was so tired after last weekend that I still haven’t unpacked the inventory to see what sold and what didn’t sell, so I won’t know how many sales I had until Wednesday night when I get paid.

SNIPPET 2

In order to be a vendor at the Summer Show & Sale, I had to have eight entries into the show. I entered eight as a vendor and four as an individual, ten plants and two succulent pictures. My entries garnered one first place, five second place, and three third place. I’m particularly happy with those results because my best eight entries actually are on display at the 2018 San Diego County Fair from June 1 through July 4 (see SNIPPET 5). The first place was an educational exhibit on Pereskia grandifolia:

Pereskia grandifolia

There are three plants in that dish garden. I had ordered them from Uruguay on May 10. They arrived on May 31, just in time for the Show. They were a little ragged after not seeing sunshine for three weeks but it looks like they are going to survive.

The genus Pereskia has nine species and is the only genus in its family. It is more like a rose than a cactus, with non-succulent leaves, spines hiding on the stems behind the leaves, and rose-like flowers. Pereskia is considered the mother of all cacti & succulents because it is believed that the original cacti & succulents were very much like Pereskia.

One of mine even bloomed yesterday. Check out this rose-like flower:

Here is the educational flier that accompanied the dish garden.

Pereskia grandifolia

SNIPPET 3

I’m working on getting the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society to take on renovation of the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden in Balboa Park as part of the Adopt-A-Plot program. This is a significant garden, planted under the direction of Kate Sessions (aka “Mother of Balboa Park”) for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. It’s severely neglected right now. Here’s my video presentation to the SDCSS Board of Directors. They won’t get it until Wednesday, June 13.

SNIPPET 4

I tortured Zoey the Cool Cat on June 6. I didn’t really torture her, but if you were in the house for 10 minutes today while I was giving her a bath, you would have thought I was torturing her. This cat can howl better than any wolf on Earth. She’s so mad at me that when I found her after drying her off, she turned around and wouldn’t look at me.

Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

SNIPPET 5

Here is a video of all the plants in the cactus & succulent exhibit of the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society at the 2018 San Diego County Fair. The exhibit won first place in its category, and I have eight plants in the exhibit, including one awarded a “Noteworthy Plant,” the Peanut Cactus at 2:34 in the video.”

SNIPPET 6

Fires do not “break out.” Fires are caused by something or someone. The fact that Fire Season started June 1, and there were a lot of fires the first weekend in June tells me that quite a few someones were out starting fires.

Fire

SNIPPET 7

There were lots of dogs at the Cactus & Succulent Show & Sale last weekend. Here are my two favorites:

Dog in a backpack

Dog in a backpack

SNIPPET 8

I’m so happy.

Twitler pardons Russel Ray

SNIPPET 9

In 1966, while my wise old grandmother was helping her 11-year-old grandson start his very first business, she told me,

“Surround yourself with positive people and you’ll be positive. Surround yourself with successful people and you’ll be successful.”

She was right.

SNIPPET 10

She also was right when she told me to treat every day the same. That way there are no bad Fridays because of weekend anticipation, no bad Mondays because of the weekend being over, and you can make a lot of money on holidays when most of the people don’t work.

SNIPPET 11

Are sports teaching our children to steal? I mean, they steal bases in baseball, they steal the basketball from the opposing player. So much stealing going on…….

SNIPPET 12

A little squirrel in Balboa Park last week. First one that didn’t scamper away when I said, “I’ll put you in my blog!”

Squirrel

SNIPPET 13

I bought my first skateboard ever this past week. Walked out of the shop with it, got on it, and went zooming down the street. Cars were honking and swerving, yelling obscenities, flipping the bird. Weird.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

SNIPPETS (4-29-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

I honestly admit that it has been a long time since I have been as passionate about something—anything!—as I am about my newfound interest in cactus & succulents (C&S), my role as newsletter editor for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society, and my new company, A+R POTTERY.

In order to sell anything at C&S shows throughout Southern California, including my Designer Pots by A+R POTTERY, one has to be a member of that specific C&S society.

Yesterday I visited the Palomar C&S Society in Escondido, 31 miles north of me, which I joined last month. San Diego C&S Society will be my home chapter, and Palomar C&S Society will be my secondary chapter.

Most chapters have what they call a “Brag Table” at their meetings where members can bring in plants and kind of (kind of?) brag about them in front of other similar-minded (i.e., obsessive about cactus & succulents) people.

There usually are three experience levels: Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced. One’s rating is determined by how many ribbons one has won at their meetings and shows, not how much one knows about cactus and succulents, or how long one has been growing them.

There are two main categories: Cactus, and Succulents.

Even though I’ve been growing cactus and succulents since 1966, I’m a Novice as to showing them in competitions. I entered five plants in the Palomar C&S Society Brag Table competition yesterday and came away with a 1st place cactus and a clean sweep—1st, 2nd, and 3rd—in succulents.

They announced that it was their largest meeting ever with 92 members in attendance, and I counted 37 entries in the succulent category, so I wasn’t just competing against myself………..lol

All are in Designer Pots by A+R POTTERY (that’s me!), and the 1st place cactus also won 1st place cactus at the San Diego C&S Society Brag Table competition on April 14. Here they are:

1st place cactus Mammilaria plumosa pcss 042818 framed

1st place succulent Aloe castilloniae pcss

2nd place succulent Crassula corymbulosa

3rd place succulent Crassula

And here’s the loser, an Echevieria ‘Dondo’ in a cute glass pot on a framed San Diego tile:

Echeveriera 'Dondo' on a San Diego framed tile

SNIPPET 2

Did I say something about being passionate?

The San Diego County Fair, the nation’s fifth largest by attendance, begins June 1 and ends July 4, making it the Fair’s longest run ever. Each year they have a huge gardening section with bonsai, cactus & succulents, landscaping, and more. That’s the main reason I go to the Fair each year. This year, however, I shall be entering two plants in the “Container” competition. These two:

1st place succulent Aloe castilloniae pcss

Euphorbia ferox

The second picture is a Euphorbia ferox in what I call my “Stephen King” pot since it looks like a devilish creature out of one of his novels. That pot sold (to me!) for $100 at the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society Winter Show, and is the pot that is directly attributable to me founding my A+R POTTERY company.

I might also enter some more plants but the Fair’s criteria for judging actually does include artistic creativeness and originality, so it depends on how original and creative I can get by May 4, which is the deadline for entering Container plants.

SNIPPET 3

I’m thinking that the problem with home schooling is that the children get no interaction with other children who, uh, might not be exactly like them. All they get is what mommy and daddy want them to get, and that includes religious indoctrination and hatred of others who are different. I think education includes—or should include—much more than simply Reading, ‘Riting, & ‘Rithmatic. It needs to include socialization with other people, music appreciation, sports (learning how to lose graciously), history (My wise old grandmother said, “If we don’t study and understand history, we are bound to repeat it.” That could explain why it seems like America is back in the 1850’s instead of 2018.

SNIPPET 4

I spent several hours on Friday looking at the ground planting cacti, succulents, and rocks. It was late evening, so I took a break, looked up, and saw this:

Sunset in El Cajon, California

I didn’t have my DSLR out in the dirt with me so I had to take that with my Samsung Galaxy S8 smarty-pants phone.

SNIPPET 5

Back in 1987 I dated a woman who asked God everything, when to call in sick, when to take vacation, when to do genealogy research, when to call me, when to come visit me.

I had a home-based business and one Saturday night she was in my bedroom studying her Bible lesson for Sunday. I decided to take a break and take the two dogs for a walk. I went into my room and asked her, “Do you want to take the dogs for a walk with me?” She rolled over, looked at me ever so sweetly, and answered, “No. God hasn’t told me to take the dogs for a walk with you.”

I broke up with her two days later.

That was the beginning of the end of any respect I had for religion.

If God was talking in such detail with that one woman, I thought s/he was neglecting a few billion other people, like children dying of cancer or other such diseases (leprosy, smallpox, etc., in the days of yore), family and friends of children dying of cancer. Then, just for fun, add in deaths and injuries from tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, blizzards, floods.

Death and destruction everywhere. If that’s God, I don’t want anything to do with it.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

SNIPPETS (4-15-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Yahoooooooooo! First place in the Cactus Novice category at the April 14 General Meeting of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society. Novice simply means I don’t have a lot of experience showing plants. Judges rarely comment on presentation but this one did. He was gushing over the black metal pot and black/gray top dressing sandwiched between the white cactus (Mammilaria plumosa) and the white tile. My “Reverse Oreo” look.

1st place, Cactus Novice, Russel Ray, San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society

I also got a third place in the Succulent Novice category. A Crassula corymbulosa (Red pagoda).

3rd place, Succulent Novice, Russel Ray, San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society

Both plants are in Designer Pots by A+R POTTERY (that’s me!).

SNIPPET 2

Thursday night, April 13, was Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat’s last night with J&R Rescue Service. She went back home to her daddy on Friday. Following is the last picture I took of Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat. She and Zoey the Cool Cat were tolerating each other but were none too happy, Ninja at being in a strange home, and Zoey at having a strange cat in her home of 10 years.

Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat & Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 3

One of my favorite candies in my youth was candy corn. I haven’t eaten any in several decades, so imagine my surprise when candy corn showed up in my garden this past week.

Candy corn succulent

SNIPPET 4

One of the neighborhood kids (we’ll call him Joe Bob) came by this past Friday. Turns out that he missed his school bus so, uh, he didn’t go to school. Gosh, when I missed my school bus when I was his age, my wise old grandmother drove me to school, which made her none too happy.

Joe Bob wanted to rescue bees from my Wildlife Corner pond where the thirsty bees drink after their long journey collecting pollen. We’ve done this twice before.

Normally we use sticks and leaves to rescue the little ones that are drowning and too weak to get out of the water. In this case, Joe Bob cupped his hands, dipped them in the water, and came out with a rescued honeybee which rested on his hand for a minute until its wings were dry enough to fly away. Here’s Joe Bob with his BFF honeybee on his hand.

Rescuing drowning honey bees

Although you can’t see all of Joe Bob’s face, his look was priceless, which you can kind of tell by the smile on his face.

I must admit that I was smiling, too, at seeing a young child taking pleasure in Mother & Father Nature’s creations and helping them out.

I’m always leery of taking pictures of other people’s children so later that evening,  I put the picture on a flash drive and walked it over to Joe Bob’s house, explained what had happened and why I had a picture of their son, and gave the picture to them. They seemed quite happy with me.

SNIPPET 5

I have survived so many end-of-world predictions that I have lost count. The latest prediction is that the end of the world will come by the end of April 2018. I shall wash & dry every day through the end of the month to make sure that I have clean underwear.

SNIPPET 6

This morning I drove by a church out in the boondocks. This message was on their marquee:

“There is nothing too hard for God.”

“Hmmm,” I thought. “The Crusades, Salem Witch Trials, slavery, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, cancer, just to name a few.” I continued: “If there is nothing too hard for God and s/he’s not doing anything, I don’t want to be associated with that God because s/he’s cruel, mean, and heartless.”

SNIPPET 7

Who knew that the Easter Cactus grows little beards after the dead blossoms fall off?

Easter cactus

SNIPPET 8

My new Echevieria ‘Dondo’ planted in a Designer Pot by A+R POTTERY.

Echevieria 'Dondo'

The San Diego platform base actually is attached to the pot using 100% silicone.

SNIPPET 9

Many plants respond to sunlight by turning various shades of red. Here’s an Aeonium which spend a lot of time in the sun and has morning mist drops on it.

Aeonium with raindrops

SNIPPET 10

Baby ducky season is upon us but who knew that daddies could dance? And on water?

Male Mallard dancing on water

SNIPPET 11

And here are a few baby duckies, two of them trying to clamber up the concrete wall of the pond to reach momma and the other little baby duckies.

Baby duckies

SNIPPET 12

Huge, monster, gigantic, big, really really really really big soap bubbles seem to be the latest rage here in San Diego. Tide pods?

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

IMG_7761 Coco

Picture of the Moment—Meet Coco

Picture of the Moment

I’m the incoming newsletter editor for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society (SDCSS) .

With over 700 members, it’s the largest chapter of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America.

So I was obligated (not that anyone had to twist my arm) to attend the SDCSS Winter Show & Sale.

I heard that it’s the second largest cactus & succulent show & sale in the United States, right behind the SDCSS Summer Show & Sale.

It looks like I’m going to have a great time meeting lots of people, seeing lots of cool plants, taking lots of pictures, and, of course, compiling the newsletter each month.

Here’s my favorite picture from this past weekend:

IMG_7761 Coco

That’s Coco. She’s just a year old and belongs to one of our SDCSS members. One of her parents was a floppy-eared dog and the other parent was a perky-eared dog. Hence, the floppy ear and the perky ear on little Coco, which I thought was sooooooooooooooo cute.

Fortunately, my assistant, a cutie herself, is not jealous so she did approve this post.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post